The Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced Thursday 5,042 new daily COVID-19 cases, exceeding 5,000 cases for the first time and setting a new daily record amid the Olympics.
The record total beat the previous record by approximately 900 cases, 4,166 cases recorded the previous day.
If this rate holds, daily cases in Tokyo alone could rise to more than 10,000 in late August.
Of the 5,000-plus cases, 229 were in children under 10 years of age, while another 441 were children in their teens.
A city official said (translated to English), “There are still many young people infected, but I have the impression that there are many young people who think, ‘I’m okay because my symptoms are mild even if I’m infected.’ Yes, in the worst case, I want you to take thorough basic measures, considering that you may be infected and the person you are depressed may die. ”
Tokyo officials report 135 severally ill patients and one fatality in a man in his 60s.
The additional cases announced on Thursday brought the total for Tokyo to 236,138. Nationwide, Japan has so far registered a total of 980,728 cases and 15,247 deaths.
A total of six people associated with the Olympics have tested positive.
Tokyo has been under a state of emergency since mid-July, and four other areas, including Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures and Osaka, have since been added and extended until August 31; however, the restrictions are largely ignored.
Lastly, the government decided only COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms, or who are at high risk of developing such symptoms, will be eligible for hospitalization in areas where infections are rapidly increasing.
Japan’s government intends to review its treatment guidelines for people with COVID-19, it was announced Monday. Under the changes, patients in areas where the virus is quickly spreading will in principle be required to recuperate at home.
The policy change is aimed at preventing a serious shortage of hospital beds due to the recent surge in new infections, but concerns are being voiced about the dangers of having people with moderate symptoms recuperate at home.
The government will officially ask local authorities to adopt the new guidelines by the end of this week at the earliest.